Question: Oscar (Nigeria)
My father passed on recently and one of the pre-requisites for interring him in our ancestral home was being present to witness the slaughter of goats presented in our home accompanied by libations and certain sayings without which the burial would not hold. I am convicted with guilt that I partook in idol worship or offerings to ancestral deities by my presence and I am concerned we may have unknowingly given such spirits some spiritual legality over us by participating in these rites. How can we avoid or deal with situations such as these spiritually?
Reading from 1 Corinthians 8:1-5, the Bible says, “Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up but charity edifieth. As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world and that there is none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) but to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things and we by him. Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. But meat commendeth us not to God; for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak”.
The scripture is clear. These idols are not God. Things offered to nothing. As a child of God, your eating doesn’t give them a spiritual legality because you are not the one that decides what is legal or not; it’s God’s word that decides what is legal or not and so it’s his own conscience that is affecting him and he should go to the scriptures and see what the Bible says about things offered to idols. But like it says if you are eating in, that if for my brother’s sake it will offend him, I will rather not eat so that my brother will not be offended. To us, there is only one God and whether we eat the meat are we the better or worse just like the scripture said. So he should not feel as if he has done something wrong. His conscience is weak because he lacks the knowledge of God’s word concerning him. But also the Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:28 that if you are told that this belongs to idols, the Bible says you should not eat it for their own sake so that they won’t think that you are supporting their actions.